When researching any topic, there are two main methods of researching when it comes to generalization. These are Quantitative and Qualitative.
Quantitative is the method of making an underline generalization that can briefly describe something among (typically) many other things, it is typically used when researching large quantities of data. Typically, when it comes to surveys and such – Quantitative data is usually made up with multiple answer questions, and are explained in Batch. For example, asking 100 people if they like Cheese or not will bring about a lot of “Yes or No” answers, and as such you can display them as a bar chart or pie chart, because the information is to segregate and emphasis. In essence, this method of research is to stereotype and categorize.
Qualitative research is done with the goal of gaining specific answers from a variety of people, albeit usually a very small group of people in comparison to a quantitative method. By using this method, you are effectively spending more time in research, but are gaining answers which can be exclusive to anyone you interview or research. This is used typically after quantitative research, because quantitative is for usually finding an audience or “Base” for the research, and then the qualitative is to research the people who matter for whatever topic you may be researching.
An example of both would be – “Are you afraid of dying?” To which 40% of people could say yes, and 60% say no – Immediately through the use of Quantitative research, we have split our batch down the middle, and have identified who is afraid and who is not. We can use further quantitative methods to identify the possible traits of those who said yes, by asking for Gender or Age, very broad topics that can possibly refine this 40% down even more, gaining a smaller and more controllable number.
Furthermore, we can then use a Qualitative method of researching by asking specific questions related to our topic a little more. Questions such as “Why are you afraid?” Or “What about dying are you afraid of?”, have the intent on gaining specific and opinionated answers from these individuals.
This is the act of Research.